What is in your skin care products?

As far back as I remember I have always bought soaps and lotions only based on their smell and how good I felt smelling them. However a few years ago a friend sent me an article about “chemicals used in skin care products have been found in breast cancerous cells.”  It made me pause and think and I started to investigate the ingredients to see what they were since I couldn’t even pronounce most of them. What I found was the presence of many harmful chemicals in all those “amazing aromas” that I had liked and enjoyed. 

Furthermore although they claimed to be healthy skin care products, take for example - Phenoxyethanol which is used as a preservative in cosmetic products and also as a stabilizer in perfumes and soaps. What was disturbing was that exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to reactions ranging from eczema to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. Infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol can acutely affect nervous system function. Phenoxyethanol is commonly found in moisturizer, eye shadow, foundation, sunscreen, conditioner, mascara, eye liner, shampoo, lip gloss, concealer, body wash, hand cream, blush, hair color, hair spray, lip balm, lotion, nail polish, baby wipes, baby lotions and soaps, soap (liquid and bar), shaving cream, deodorant, toothpaste, fragrance, hair removal waxes, hand sanitizer and ultrasound gel.

However aren't lotions suppose to moisturize the skin and get rid of the dryness and eczema? So why do big companies use ingredients that cause all that trouble for our skins?

Our skin is our body’s largest organ. An adult's skin typically covers 22 square feet and weighs 8-10 pounds. One square inch of skin is reported to contain approximately 65 hairs, 100 sebaceous glands, 78 yards of nerves, 19 yards of blood vessels, 9,500,000 cells, 1,300 nerve endings, and 650 sweat glands.

Our skin shelters us from the hazards of our environment and yet allows us to experience pain and pleasure. It works to renew itself every second of every day as we shed some 40 pounds of dead skin cells in the course of our lifetime. Our skin, like a sponge absorbs chemicals. We can absorb up to 60 percent of what we put on our skin. In fact, today many medicines are given in "patch" form to be absorbed through the skin. Since our skin cannot discriminate between synthetic and natural, or between harmful and beneficial, it may absorb harmful chemicals present is commercial skin care products.

Our bodies are constantly exposed to synthetic chemicals in air, water, and food--why add to the problem by applying synthetic products to your skin and hair?

Also, many of the synthetic chemicals found in commercial skin care products do not naturally breakdown. Instead as they wash down our drains, they accumulate in our ecosystems. These chemicals infiltrate our lakes, streams, rivers and public water systems.

There are so many natural oils and herbs that could nourish our skin and keep us healthy and looking great for a comparable price to what we are already paying for commercial and chemical products. I wonder - do people ever think about the long term dermatologist/doctor visits and medication cost to fix the skin that they damaged by buying and using cheap  skin care products? We are lucky to have access to all natural oils, herbs, soaps and lotions around us but do we choose to live a healthy life style!